Search the Collection

Sugar Spin: : You, Me, Art and Everything

Sugar Spin brings together the work of remarkable Australian artists with that of their global peers in celebration of the creative depth and diversity of the Gallery s Collection. This exhibition plays with ideas of abundance, dizziness and disorientation in five contrasting chapters, moving from light to dark, and from the monumental to the minute. It offers a series of paths to explore, traversing heady colour, darker anxieties, soaring rhythms and precious treasures, before opening to encompass the wider cosmos. The artworks in Sugar Spin take our breath away, swiftly at times, filling us with wonder. At other points they unfold more slowly, and reflect our own fears and uncertainties. The ancient creation narratives of this land are renewed and find echoes in works from afar.

Sugar Spin is a celebration, but also a reflection on a time in which truth is spun and sugar-coated, attention spans are short, trust is fractured, and we are eager for one sugar hit after another. Joy and danger animate us as sweet seekers, but we are also storytellers and sense-shapers, ready to look, feel, talk and together shape new futures.

Spin me around
until I am dizzy
until all I know
is a blur

Until the world comes into focus
with a different shape
Spin me stories
as a spider would a web

Spin me a sugar high
A feast of everything
I ever wanted
and more

Underlying Stories


swimming over black water
Bright sunlight overhead
endless depths beneath

View Story


Imagine the journey
of an ancient serpent
Bending and rewriting
space and time

Imagine you are high above
the earth, leaving this atmosphere
heading into the stars
Imagine you are a particle

As if lying under the stars, in a space of storytelling, memory and exploration, Cosmos brings together our fears and hopes.

View Story


Imagine the earth falling away
beneath you, a sensation of lightness
The land below is all pattern and
rhythm, a dappled skin

We don t need wings to soar. We fly also when we stretch our thoughts, our imaginations. We soar when we discover new patterns and insights. From Tobias Putrih s arch of cardboard boxes to Gabriel Orozco s suspended  skeletal wing, and the undulating rhythms of Doreen Nakamarra Reid s vision of her country, this chapter of Sugar Spin brings together many different patterns: in landscapes, on the skin, through genes and generations.

View Story


a happy hot little hand
a hand full
of sweets

View Story


Imagine your hand
holding a treasure passing it on
Imagine a small happy hand
holding this treasure

Here we see treasure as both care and currency things we value most highly. Bea Maddock considers the coastal contours of her Tasmanian home and the beautiful cadence of the languages once spoken here, alongside niches of tightly wrapped treasures. Fiona Hall offers a museum-like cabinet of birds nests, binding together our emotional response to these small perfectly-made homes and the value carried by the shredded currency from which they are made.

View Story

Generated image of the artwork: Infinity nets

Image randomly selected from story, full attribution available on story page.

KUSAMA, Yayoi; Infinity nets

Yayoi Kusama’s painterly output is vast, propelled by a compulsive and therapeutic relationship to the activity of painting itself. Suffering from 'rijin'sho', or depersonalisation syndrome, Kusama's art triggers visual experiences that metaphorically communicate the hallucinations, or veil of dots, she has endured since she was a child. This vibrant iconography, often transposed as nets or auras, dominates her practice.

View Story

Generated image of the artwork: HEARD

Image randomly selected from story, full attribution available on story page.


Nick Cave’s HEARD offers a magical cradle of possibility, drawing us together to experience something wondrous. It acts as an energy exchange point, and energy generator.

View Story